Russia: Year-round vegetables under Polar conditions

Outside, the temperatures drop to below -20 degrees Celsius, but inside the Severodvinsk greenhouse, vegetables are growing year-round.

Elena Borovina, the greenhouse owner, says that in addition to lettuce, dill and parsley, they grow less common crops like basil, rucola, Swiss chard, spinach, sorrel, cilantro and chives.

December 26, the greenhouse started seeding the main crops, and the first cucumber harvest is expected this month. Tomatoes are expected to ripen later, around the middle of April.

In numbers, the greenhouse acreage is divided as follows: around 0.3 ha is occupied with tomatoes, 0.5 ha are occupied with seedlings and greens, 2.2 ha are dedicated to cucumbers.

While the greenhouse focuses on vegetables, they also provide young plants to customers like a drama theatre, a central department store, hotels, administrative buildings, garden centers and many others. The most popular varieties are the ones resistant to the conditions of the cold northern summer, for example viola and pelargonium.

Despite these clients, the greenhouse complex is still dependent on contributionsfrom the local budget that partly compensate expenses, which include a monthly gas bill of 57,000 euros.


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